Light short-covering gently prodded the futures market higheryesterday as traders surveyed the prospect of a sizable storagewithdrawal reported in the American Gas Association’s storagereport this afternoon. The prompt February contract led all others,advancing 4.2 cents to settle at $1.821. With that small gain, themarket ended a five-day, 25-cent slide.
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For the first half of December, natural gas futures have been awhirlwind of volatility, where chart gaps and double-digit pricemoves have been almost the norm. So it came as a welcome change forsome when the prompt January contract exhibited a more sedatedemeanor Tuesday, trading within a narrow band and settlingunchanged for the day. Estimated volume was a relatively quiet50,593.
After seesawing throughout most of the morning, futures pricestumbled again Wednesday as traders surveyed the threat of freshbearish fundamental news. The front-month January contract finisheddown 7.2 cents to $1.886 at the close, barely off session lows of$1.88. Estimated volume was a healthy 67,274.
A constructive price move near the close of trading Tuesday anda well-bid over-the-counter market Wednesday morning had bullschamping at the bit early yesterday. But by afternoon, forecastscalling for a moderation of the cold weather gripping much of themiddle of the country had begun to filter through the futuresmarket which left prices to trickle lower. Both the December andJanuary contract slipped 4.6 cents, settling at $2.432 and $2.557respectively.
A survey conducted by Promark Research Corp. between Aug. 23-25,with subsequent data analysis by Baselice & Associatesdetermined that 95% of Pennsylvanians are aware that they can orwill soon be able to choose their electric generation supplier.It’s a huge improvement for the Pennsylvania program when comparedwith a June survey that showed awareness 15 percentage pointslower. Nationwide awareness of electric restructuring is about 40%,according to another survey by Yankee Energy.
In a new analysis of power demand growth, Colorado-basedResource Data International (RDI) projects slightly over 186,000 MWof primarily gas-fired electric generating capacity will have to beadded by 2010 nationwide to meet burgeoning demand and to replaceretiring nuclear and non-nuclear capacity. The cost approaches $90billion.
In a new analysis of power demand growth, Colorado-basedResource Data International (RDI) projects slightly over 186,000 MWof primarily gas-fired electric generating capacity will have to beadded by 2010 nationwide to meet burgeoning demand and to replaceretiring nuclear and non-nuclear capacity. The cost approaches$90-billion.
The futures market came under heavy selling pressure earlyThursday, adding to losses that began in the Wednesday eveningAccess session. However, the October contract was unable to broachsupport at $2.075, and buying enabled the prompt month to recoverslightly in the afternoon. October ended the day down 10.3 cents at$2.138.
The futures market continued to spike higher at Nymex yesterday,adding to advances that have lifted the October contract 36.3 centssince last week. October finished the day up 11.8 cents to settleat $2.241. In doing so, natural gas futures set a new daily volumerecord with an estimated 142,867 contracts changing hands.
Interstate pipelines said they support FERC’s proposedrulemaking calling for them to post the identities of theirmarketing affiliates and any name change information on theInternet as part of the Commission’s effort to better monitortransactions between the parties. But they took issue with theproposed requirement that they update the information within threebusiness days of any change.